Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Selected by Group Pick
Gone with the Wind, first published in May 1936, is a romantic novel written by Margaret Mitchell that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and depicts the experiences of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner. The novel is the source of the extremely popular 1939 film of the same name.
Margaret Mitchell penned Gone with the Wind in a linear fashion, basing it on the life and experiences of the main character, Scarlett O’Hara, as she grew from a young woman into adulthood. The author did not make use of subplots to enhance the storyline. She developed a plot rich with vivid characters. Mitchell almost entirely skipped over the subject of the morality of slavery or whether the South was justified in pursuing war against the North, preferring to allow the reader to decide these issues based upon the actions or inaction of the novel’s characters.
Gone with the Wind has three major unifying and recurring literary themes: survival, love (unrequited), and war and its scars (antithesis to peace and happiness).
The novel won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning 1939 film of the same name. The book was also adapted during the 1970s into a stage musical Scarlett; there is also a 2008 new musical stage adaptation in London’s West End titled Gone With The Wind. It is the only novel by Mitchell published during her lifetime. It took her seven years to write the book and a further eight months to check the thousands of historical and social references. The novel is one of the most popular books of all time, selling more than 30 million copies. Over the years, the novel has also been analyzed for its symbolism and treatment of archetypes.
Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.
This book was selected because:
“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” ― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind